Design Technology gives pupils an almost unique opportunity to use their imagination and have a truly authentic experience of a practical working environment. They research and analyse in order to understand design needs and in turn, develop solutions with environmental and sustainability issues in mind.
At Rookwood School, a real emphasis is placed on pupils thinking for themselves, working independently to solve design and manufacturing problems. In doing so, they are encouraged to understand that there is often no single right answer. Pupils are nurtured to have the confidence to do what they think is right and to experiment with solutions to address design problems.
Curriculum at Key Stage 3
Pupils are taught graphical drawing techniques and skills. As they learn, with encouragement and guidance from staff, they gain the confidence to present with greater accuracy and precision via a range of different projects. In the workshop pupils are taught to use hand and machine tools, including computer aided design and manufacturing, to make imaginative, well-constructed products to meet a specific design brief. They learn to work safely, collaboratively and to share skills and experiences.
Curriculum at Key Stage 4
Over two years, Design and Technology offers a challenging GCSE course which appeals to any pupil willing to stretch their imagination and use initiative to solve real-life problems. Pupils who follow this course develop highly transferable skills such as analysis, evaluation, problem-solving, communication (both written and graphical) and time management. The GCSE course covers core D&T theoretical principles as well as being a practical subject, building on graphical skills. The new qualification is modern and relevant, so students can learn about contemporary technologies, materials and processes, as well as established practices. The course places greater emphasis on understanding and applying iterative design processes. Students will use their creativity and imagination to design and make prototypes that solve real and relevant problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. Students learn to draw formally and to apply knowledge and understanding to solve problems - culminating in a final piece of coursework which accounts for a percentage of their final GCSE grade.
Board and spec: AQA GCSE Design & Technology
Exam structure: 50% Coursework, 50% final exam
Design and Technology provides a great opportunity for pupils to be creative and open minded which in turn, develops their self-confidence. It gives pupils practical and problem solving skills while inspiring them to think creatively - challenging how and why current products are designed and allowing them to turn their designs into reality.